J U D I T H   W E S T E R V E L D

 

 


Writing back to history
Single channel HD video, colour, stereo sound
6'56''
2016
Fragment



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Writing back to history rewrites the 17th century journal (Daghregister) of Jan van Riebeeck. By paging, reading and searching through the fragile document for specific passages, the video highlights the intentions of the colonizer and the conflicts this caused with the original inhabitants of the Cape, the Khoikhoi and San tribes. By using a lightbox to illuminate stills of the video footage capturing certain passages of the journal, the fragile texture of the parchment and the ink of the words is emphasized. Through physical interventions in these passages of the journal, via underlining, rewriting, tipexing and highlighting, the original text is subverted. In this dialogue with the journal the work challenges how the historical narrative is presented in the present and offers an alternative view.

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Credits
Daghregister, Jan Anthonisz van Riebeeck, 1659-1662
Daily record of the Cape of Good Hope colony of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).
Dutch Transcript Daghregister Volume 1, 2, 3
The Van Riebeeck Society, A.A Balkema, Cape Town, 1957
English Translation Daghregister Volume 1, 2, 3
The Van Riebeeck Society, A.A Balkema, Cape Town & Amsterdam, 1954
All sources Western Cape Archives and Records Service, Cape Town, South Africa

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